Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More marathon training tips....

“I think it’s important to have patience and give yourself time and plenty of rest. If you want to start running and you’ve never run your entire life, that’s an amazing and wonderful thing. Don’t put pressure on yourself. My advice to people is to stay at it and take their time. Set small goals along the way and don’t be overwhelmed by the process.” – Kara Goucher

In 2008, Nike Running star Kara Goucher became the fastest American woman to debut at the marathon distance, running 2:25:53 at the ING New York City Marathon. Like any debut runner, Goucher made an unbreakable commitment to the marathon, but she also acknowledged how daunting 26.2 miles can seem. That is why she reminds runners to “set small goals along the way” to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the marathon distance.

When you begin your marathon training, it’s important to start where you are comfortable. You’ve heard the saying, “You have to crawl before you can walk”; same goes for the marathon—you have to run one mile before you can run two, or 10 or 20 miles.

Select a training program that complements your current training schedule, and focus on gradually increasing your running mileage so your body adapts to the rigors of marathon training. It’s helpful to break your training down into three to four week cycles and focus on small goals along the way, like completing your first double digit run, or running for 30 minutes without resting. Keep your training in perspective, and remember, instead of focusing on the finish line today, celebrate the start line—you're already standing on it!

Gearing Up
After you commit to the marathon, investing in the appropriate running gear is one of the most important things you can do. To kick start your training, you need a few essential items, such as moisture wicking socks, and technical running shirts and shorts. Above all, it’s imperative that you get fitted for the proper running shoes, which we’ll cover in the June edition of this e-newsletter. If you can’t wait until June, pay a visit to your local specialty running retailer and they’ll answer any and all questions you have about running footwear.

Technical Socks: The number one rule for all runners is to stay away from cotton socks. Cotton fabric lacks the sweat-wicking technology, support features and ventilation capabilities that technical running socks provide. Technical socks keep your feet comfortable, dry and blister-free by wicking moisture away and allowing your feet to breathe.

Technical Apparel: Running apparel has come a long way since the first marathon boom days of cotton T-shirts and sweatpants. Today’s innovative moisture-wicking technical fabrics help you avoid chafing and friction by keeping your skin dry, by using a flat seam construction and by providing optimal ventilation. Running in comfortable technical fabrics during the sweat-inducing days of summer training is key to enjoying your long runs in the sun.

Doctor’s Orders: Listed below are 10 topics from George Chiampas, Medical Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, that you need to consider as you begin your training.
  1. Be sure to inform your primary care physician of your marathon goal.
  2. Address any and all injury issues with your trainer/coach or health care team.
  3. Determine your sweat rate and fluid needs early on.
  4. Train and begin using any foods or gels to determine what works best for you.
  5. Don’t over-train; recovery is vital for your long term goal.
  6. Consider how you respond to running in both hot and cold weather and adjust accordingly.
  7. Rest; be sure to obtain as much sleep as possible during this training period.
  8. Limit alcohol consumption as this is a performance inhibitor.
  9. Be sure to obtain your daily nutritional needs of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
  10. Run in safe and open environments and make yourself visible.

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